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Thread: Floats to Alaska - 2019

  1. #1
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Floats to Alaska - 2019

    Folks

    I am finally getting around to posting a thread on my 2019 adventures. This will be a little different. As I go I put out "Trip Reports" for my family and a few friends. This thread will be basically a reprint of those "Trip Reports" edited to take out most of the incriminating evidence.

    Good Morning Folks Trip Report #1


    Just a quick update. I left a little late on Tuesday due to a late night arrival Monday evening. Chicago was overrun by thunderstorms so I had to divert to Nashville (Flying for work - SWA) then went illegal for flight time so had to deadhead home. Long day. But I did manage to get out Tuesday in pretty lousy weather and made it to Helena for the night. Stayed in the FBO there in the bunk room. That is a great deal. Nice, comfortable, easy, and FREE. Did I mention it was free?





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    It might be a while before 316BR is back in Poplar Grove. See below....







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    Second day flying from Helena MT to Spokane was AWESOME. Clear and smooth. I did not touch the stick from level off until turning final at Spokane 2.5 hours later. I love the mountains and it feels like coming home to be back.





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    This is the view from my new hangar. Approach end of runway right there. I am building a hangar at Sandpoint Idaho. Signed the papers and wrote a big check. Should be dried in by the time I get back from my summer in Alaska.


    I had an awesome Copper River Salmon dinner compliments of Mike Scalara to include Morel Mushrooms. Mike is an excellent chef and it was a great way to start the trip.


    I should be on the move in a hour. Kamloops, to Williams Lake, to Smithers, Dease Lake, to Whitehorse today. Maybe. Lord willing


    Thanks for following and God Bless you


    Bill



    Folks Trip Report #2

    I had a great flight up to Anchorage. A little challenging at times. Weather forecast not accurate.....gee what a surprise......
    It was supposed to be clear sailing both days......NOT...


    Left Spokane on time, with great help from Mike Woodson. Pretty uneventful flight to Kamloops to clear customs. Since I had a shotgun they had to meet me and it took a while to do the paperwork for the firearm. Nice FBO there and I was able to set up customs in Northway while there. The customs guy said 1400 the next day but call first to confirm. I figured if I made Whitehorse (a really long day) that would allow me to sleep late and have a nice leisurely breakfast and morning. "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry" (From a poem by Robert Burns "To a Mouse" also title from Steinbeck book)




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    The flight from Kamloops to Smithers was kinda boring. Not much out there. A lot of the ground has been logged and it is all cut up by logging roads. Not very scenic.





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    There are 4 routes to Alaska from the lower 48.
    1)The Alcan highway is the furthest East and the safest with usually the best weather. But.... it is rather flat and boring.
    2) A little further West is the Trench. More scenic, and a little more prone to bad weather. Also it has a long 400 mile stretch with no fuel so that is a problem for some airplanes.
    3) Next to the West is the Cassiar highway. This is probably the least common run up North, and a route I had not flown so I wanted to fly it this year to check it out.
    4) Finally the forth route is the furthest West and that is the coastal route. I don't recommend this route unless on floats. There is just NO place to set down if you have a problem. Also the worst weather.


    The Cassier highway actually starts at Kitmat but most will pick it up at Smithers like I did. The run from Smithers to Dease Lake is BEAUTIFUL. Awesome flight, even with rain showers like the photo above. Really pretty BUT it is very rugged and an engine failure is probably not going to turn out well.





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    I woke up in Whitehorse, at the Airport Chalet, and called customs to confirm. Now he says be there at 10:00. Arg.......not ready....... not dressed, ......didn't even get to finish my cup of tea..........but I was airborne in 20 minutes. I filled a QUICK flight plan via Foreflight. As I was taxing out, I asked tower to open my flight plan. He says....." you are in a Cub....did you really want to file an IFR flight plan?"
    "Oops....nope, can you change that to VFR?"


    Did I mention that I was in a hurry?


    STORY OF THE ATTACKING FLIES.........



    The forecast was clear. I spent a lot of time looking at this. From Smithers all the way to Gulkana. Mountain tops in the clouds and lots of rain. Even sleet, freezing rain, and some ice pellets. I was flying the Nabesna river between Northway and Gulkana and I felt a bunch of sharp pricks on my face. I thought I was getting attacked by some type of fly. Weird and uncomfortable. In my panic, swatting at my face, I looked down and saw a bunch of white dots in my lap. Then the light came on..... I'm a little slow at times..... I had my air vent open and the ice pellets were getting blown right in my face. I got a big laugh at myself. So much for the attacking flies. LOL







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    Beautiful coming through the mountains (when it wasn't raining). It is a religious experience for me. I can't help but praise the Lord for his creation. I count myself so Blessed to have the opportunity to see and do this. Awesome is just not a strong enough word. What a privilege,
    and Blessing.





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    I made it in to Bob Cassell's place and tied up in his yard. Bob has been a great friend for a number of years now. Very talented at everything he does. Building airplanes, training retrievers, tying flies, reloading, hunting, fishing......you name it, he does it well. I love staying in his little "bunker" on the lake. This is his lab, Kobuck, named after the river. We have spent the day visiting with Cub guys and talking airplanes. Bob has given me several places to see so I will try for that in the next day or so. Thank you Bob.


    Transponder is inop, so I will try to get that fixed tomorrow on the way up to Fairbanks. My next planned stop.


    Then after that we will see which way the weather takes me.


    Thanks for following!! And God Bless


    Bill





    Folks Trip Report #3A

    Lots of ground to cover so this will be a two part trip report. Also, I have time, and internet access.







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    My cub at Bob's place. I think Heaven will be a lateral move for Bob. A great host as always, I certainly enjoyed my visit.
    I stayed an extra day with Bob, partly to enjoy his hospitality, and secondarily to see if I could get my transponder fixed Monday morning. The Supercub.org group/family comes to the rescue once again. Fellow SC.org member "Web also know as "Wirewenie" on the website met me at the Palmer Airport Monday morning, found the bad crimp, and in short order I was on my way with a working transponder. Thank you to "Web". The Sc.org group is simply the best group of people anywhere!!


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    On the way to Fairbanks, it was clear and smooth and I got a great tour of Denali. I have a lot more GREAT pictures. Praise the Lord!
    It was truly a spectacular day and sight.




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    The backside. This is a "Wingtip Wednesday" photo. Again, what a privilege to see this. I was at 13.5 (for less than 30 minutes), but don't go check my tracker.....LOL




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    Fairbanks International. Gravel strip at the far end of the right runway and the square lake is the float pond. How many "International" airports have a float pond. Is that cool or what?




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    I got a fantastic tour of Everts Air Cargo operation. They maintain and fly the old round engine planes. That would be a fun retirement gig if they would hire me.




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    Mike "Oz" Osborne, another SC.org member gave me the grand tour. Oz has been there for 40 years and is the grand poobah of all things round engine, and as a machinist. Mike is building up a PA-12 and doing a fantastic job. He is very talented. I wish I had his knowledge and skills.


    After lunch with Mike I decided to take advantage of the good weather and head toward my next destination. Nome on the Bearing Sea.......




    Part 2 to come


    Bill




    Part 2 Trip Report #3B






    After leaving Fairbanks, I knew I would not make it to Nome so I picked a gravel strip about 1/2 way and figured I would camp there.
    I tossed up my tent in Galena. When I was with Bob in Wasilla he said "You gotta get these buy zapper/swatters. Great for mosquitoes in the tent" I did and he was right. There is a certain wicked, evil satisfaction to hearing the pop when one of the little buggers gets zapped. I almost opened the tent door to let a few more in I was having so much fun. LOL Thanks Bob.










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    The mighty Yukon river. It really is amazing.




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    So ....now I have to give Bob a hard time. He gave me some great fishing spots on the way to Nome. But......I am not really set up for.... ICE FISHING...... Bob!! Turns out this area was still in winter. Creeks still mostly frozen. No gravel bars to land on, so no fishing today. Bummer. I will try again tomorrow on the way to Kotz.







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    I landed in Council (a very small community with a nice gravel runway), to take a break. Pretty soon this very pretty lady comes up on a 4 wheeler, and asks if she can help. We visit a moment, and she invited me to coffee (tea). She is a Supercub pilot for the Alaska State Troupers (and yes, she is married). I met her dad, a retired dentist from Nome. Great folks and it was a very pleasant break. You meet the nicest people when you fly a Cub.







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    So on the way back to the airport in Council I see this. This road is in the middle of NOWHERE with zero traffic, but someone at the state level felt the need to go to the trouble and expense (your tax dollars at work) to put up this sign. Kinda like the pilot lounge sign with braille writting on it. I laughed all the way back to the Cub.




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    This is Nome Alaska, on the Bearing Sea. Almost as far west as you can go, without going out the Aleutians.
    It has been a great run so far. Wish you were here Jay. Tomorrow, Lord willing, I will go see Kotzebue, and then start working my way back toward the North center of the state to Bettles. That will be the jumping off point for the hard part of the trip. Barrow, Deadhorse to Inuvik. It will be very weather dependent.


    Thanks so much for following, and for the kind comments from many of you. I am Blessed to have your friendship. God Bless you all.


    Bill








    Very Blessed.
    Thanks BC12D-4-85 thanked for this post

  2. #2
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Folks Trip Report #4


    Nome was windy, (gusting to mid 20's), cold 41º, and foggy, with blowing dirt/sand. There is no FBO at the airport so no way to get in and out through the TSA mandated 10' high fence. The flight service folks were quite helpful but like so many airports now (that have airline service) it is just not GA friendly. Kotzbebue is the same. The fuel truck will provide fuel but there is no place to go. No FBO. If you walk across the ramp you will get stopped and asked for your SIDA badge. Then escorted into a building to wait for the DOT guy to come yell at you. It is so sad to see my country going down like this. There is not a lot of opportunity for a Piper Cub in Nome Alaska to be used for terrorism for crying out loud.


    Rant over. Lets get back to the good stuff.


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    The marine layer comes in on a regular basis out here and can pretty much shroud the costal area in fog.
    I am doing this update because I am fogged in in Kotz. I looked yesterday at several weather sources and also talked to the Flight Service Folks. They all said no problem. This website had a different opinion. https://www.windy.com
    Looks like I should have believed this one. It is an excellent site and I've used it often. Recommended!!







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    I followed the coast between Nome and Kotzebue to Wales. The mountain in the foreground is USA. The snow covered ridge in the background is Russia. Pretty cool.


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    This is the small community of Wales Alaska and their gravel runway. The furthest west community on the mainland of the USA.
    I landed and took a couple of pictures. I did not stay as the winds were over 25 knots and I was worried about the airplane.








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    That is Russia under my wingtip. This was a pretty cool moment for me. I will remember this.







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    After visiting Russia...LOL....I turned inland and went to a natural hot springs. Out in the middle of nowhere. Over 100 miles to the nearest city.....Nome. Serpentine Hot Springs was discovered by natives over 1000 years ago, and used as a medicinal spa, thought to have healing properties. There is a bunkhouse area and a spa building. Here is a video from the National Park Service about the area.....
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXAGodqRR2c







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    Inside the spa. It did not look very appealing to me so I did not go in.


    So.....bottom line.....I'm fogged in at Kotz.....I might be able to get out late today but frankly I could be stuck a couple of days. We will see.


    I am really glad I came out this way and saw this part of Alaska. Pretty darn cool.


    Thanks for following





    Bill





    Friends Trip Report #5



    What a run it has been. I left Kotz in pretty crummy weather. Got a special (1 mile and clear of clouds) to get out of the Kotz airspace then ran the Kobuk river towards Bettles. The vis under the clouds was pretty good, but the ceiling was low for a while. Once I got away from the coastal marine layer things were good.


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    It is still spring up here in the Arctic and the rivers are high. Gravel bars are in short supply. I did find a nice one on the way to Bettles yesterday, so I stopped and did a little fishing. This trip has been more about sight seeing than fishing so far. Perhaps in the next few days I will get to do a little more fishing.







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    I stayed in the famous Bettles Lodge for a night. If you are going up this way I recommend Brooks Range Aviation. Fuel is cheaper than the lodge by close to a buck a gallon, and they have food, and rooms that are MUCH cheaper than the lodge. But, all that said, I had to stay at the lodge, and get a Tee shirt just so I could fill that square . No regrets. The owners, Eric and Helen, and the manager, Connie, are from Morris Illinois, not too far from Poplar Grove. We had a nice chat. Small world sometimes.




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    This is looking up the John river that runs into Anaktuvuk Pass. This is the lowest route through the Brooks Range and is quite nice. I was at 3000 and had altitude to spare. Lots of rain showers but they were not a problem. Note all the trees and greenery.....on the south side of the Brooks Range.







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    When you come out of the pass this is what the North side looks like. No trees. No green anywhere. This is the North slope. Not much there. The run for 200 miles past the range towards Barrow was good. The last 50 miles was under a low ceiling, with snow showers. I have no idea how many times I cleared carb ice out, but it was often. Finally just ran it full on and adjusted the mixture to compensate.
    Got a special (again) to get into Barrow after visiting the monument.







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    Me, the monument, my airplane in the background.
    One of the big goals of this trip was to see the Wiley Post/ Will Rogers monument. It is about 11 miles from Barrow and there are no roads out there. Probably only gets one visitor every few years. Unless you take a snow machine in the winter, or land on the beach, ya just can't get there. Wiley Post was a famous aviator and Will Rogers was the most famous Hollywood actor at the time. He made over 70 movies. He was also a syndicated columnist and quite popular. They were probably heading to Russia though they would not admit that. They got lost in the fog and set down here to talk to the natives and ask directions to Barrow. On take off they stall spun in. A famous aviation tragedy that shook the world. I've always had a bit of a fascination with them and so wanted to visit this site. The weather was pretty poor for me too. Fortunately I survived. I got a little video footage and if I have time I'll put together a video.







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    This is the Arctic ocean under my wing, after getting away from Barrow. Pretty cool. Literally. The ice is jammed up against the beach. The open ocean is probably close to a 1/2 mile out. I must admit this is NOT a safe place to fly. I had no idea it was going to be like this. I can honestly say I do not recommend you do this trip in a single engine airplane. There is no clearly defined coast. From 50 to 100 miles from the ocean it is just a half frozen swamp. If you had an engine failure.......you would probably get a chance to visit with Wiley and Will. I'll be glad to turn inland after Inuvik.


    I made it into Deadhorse for the night. The FBO owner also owns one of the oil field crew quarters facilities, so he got me in. Small room, like a cruise ship, but clean, cheap, and nice. Lots of excellent free food. I do not know how these oil field guys can stay trim. Wow.....the blueberry cheese cake for dessert was excellent....I might add.


    Thanks for following


    Bill








    Very Blessed.

  3. #3
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Folks Trip Report #6


    Several days to cover and I have time, and wi-fi, so I will do several reports at once.


    My stay in Deadhorse was great. A great "hotel", great food, and an FBO. Something that is quite rare, at least up here. The cool thing about this FBO (and maybe why it was so nice) is that it is owned by Bud Helmericks son. Bud was a famous Alaska bush pilot and wrote several great books. I highly recommend them if you have not read any. The "Last of the Bush Pilots" and "Arctic Bush Pilot" are two that come to mind right off the top of my head. Bud's son is also a pilot so he understands the need for a good FBO. He did it well. The best I've been to in a long time to include the lower 48 and certainly the best in Alaska. Here is a link to a little article about the FBO in the Alaska Daily News
    https://www.adn.com/bush-pilot/artic...pe/2014/07/09/



    Pretty cool to see a little part of that history.




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    The area around Barrow Alaska from the "shore" to about 50+ miles inland is pretty much a swamp as you can see here. It is hard to even figure out where the shore is. Obviously, as the summer temps rise this landscape might be very different in August. But for now it was quite forbidding as an engine failure would have been very bad indeed.










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    The shore is becoming better defined the further east I went. I think this is just before Deadhorse. East of Deadhorse the shore was quite well defined and for the most part the swamp was replaced by tundra. That is not really that much better for an engine failure, as it is VERY soft and also wet. But a tundra landing would have a better chance of survival, although the airplane would probably end up on its back. Again this might/would change with different seasons.







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    After Deadhorse I was able to run the shoreline for a couple of hundred miles. There were long stretches with a beach like this, with a bay in the inland side and the Arctic ocean on my left. It was just as I hoped it would be .......incredible.....spectacular.....beautiful.......




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    Me, my Cub, and the Arctic ocean behind me. A life memory for sure.




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    My toes in the Arctic ocean.




    More to come


    Thanks for following


    Bill




    Folks Trip Report #7


    As you may know, Deadhorse and Prudhoe Bay are pretty much co-located. Prudhoe Bay is the largest oil field in North America and we have not even scratched the surface at the total reserves there. The manager of the FBO gave me a little driving tour on the morning of my departure. It is an incredible operation and a huge testimony to the intelligence, and fortitude of the Americans who developed it. They are working in the most harsh climate imaginable, with permafrost, tundra, and making it work. It is hard to fathom until you see it, and I just got the nickel tour. I can't get my head around how they do it. Amazing innovation, dedication, acumen, etc.




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    This is one of many many drilling rigs I saw. Also got to see a bunch of Caribou, some with calves, and Moose. Bald eagles etc.
    It was interesting to see the terrain and vegetation change as I went East then South. From tundra to...." that almost looks like a shrub". To scrub vegetation. Then I saw what I thought was a deer stand out on the barren terrain. As I got closer I saw it was a tree. The first and only one for hundreds of miles. There was white dot at the very top that was a bald eagle. Like the angel on top of a Christmas tree. Pretty cool sight.




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    Also along the coast are a bunch of radar sites, probably part of NORAD, that keep us safe from human predators.
    Each site has a small runway. I could not see any people at the sites and it was really tempting to land and look around, but that little guy on my shoulder kept saying "NOT a good idea, Bill.....don't do it" For once in my life I listened. LOL






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    I intended to put on my Baby Bushwheel before I left and I should have. I hate the way they steer under normal use but I wanted to put it on. Not sure why I didn't. Wish I had.






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    Look carefully and you can see the trench my 3200 tailwheel is cutting in the sand. Again......Baby Bushwheel has its place.
    Just some river sandbar I stopped on.






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    One of the trip objectives was to see the Great Bear Lake. It is in the Arctic circle, and the largest lake entirely in Canada. The forth largest in North America and the eight largest in the world. All the small lakes were ice free but the Great Bear is so big and deep that it was still pretty much iced over. It is just HUGE, and I only saw a small part. Pretty cool. Check that off the bucket list.




    Hope you are not too bored. Thanks for following


    Bill





    Folks Trip Report #8



    Last one for tonight. Tired.




    After a night in Inuvik, way up North, in the Northwest Territories of Canada it was time to head a little south. I saw the Great Bear Lake as you read about in the last trip report. The area in this part of Canada is pretty flat and uninspiring.




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    But I thought this was pretty cool. It looks like Glaciers, many moons ago, cut all these grooves in the rock and left a bunch of long skinny lakes, all aligned. Really interesting.







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    You can see it on the GPS. You can also see why I ran this leg at 9.5. A nice tailwind helped me cover a lot of somewhat boring ground as quickly as possible. Below 3K I would have had a headwind and a 5+ hour flight.






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    Another trip objective was to see the Great Slave Lake. Another huge and famous lake in North America. Unlike the Great Bear Lake it has tons of islands. I told a local I thought that was pretty cool. He said it was, except for boaters and the islands that were only a foot under water. Lots of ripped off motors and even transoms. Ouch.








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    Like the Great Bear it was/is still mostly frozen









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    And finally, after a night in Yellowknife (a pretty cool town) it was time to move on. I am back in Watson Lake tonight. At the North end of the trench which I will fly tomorrow. It was great to get back in the mountains. Love the mountains and glad to be back in them.
    It would have been shorter to go direct from Yellowknife to Spokane, but it was just flatland. So....more time....and money....but being in the mountains is worth it to me.


    Thanks for following and God Bless


    Bill








    Very Blessed.

  4. #4
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Folks


    A little trip summary as this epic adventure comes to a close. Bottom Line.....WOW....this was off the charts amazing. It was definitely one for the books and will provide lots of great memories. When I planned and started this trip I had certain "objectives". Things I wanted to accomplish or see.


    1) Fly the Cassiar Highway route - Done
    2) Visit Bob Cassell in Wasilla - Done
    3) Visit Mike "Oz" Osborne in Fairbanks - Done
    4) Go see Nome - Done
    5) Go see Kotzabue - Done
    6) Land as far West as Possible (Wales) and maybe see Russia - Done
    7) Go see the Bettles Lodge - Done (stayed there)
    8 ) Fly the Anaktuvuk Pass through the Brooks Range - Done
    9) See the Brooks Range - Done
    10) Go see the Wiley Post/ Will Rogers Monument - Done
    11) Go see Barrow - Done
    12) Go see Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay - Done
    13) Fly the Arctic Coastline - Done
    14) See the Great Bear Lake - Done
    15) See the Great Slave Lake - Done


    This was not really a fishing trip, nor was it a trip to see how many gravel bars I could land on. I did,.... a little..... but that was not the "objective" for this trip. I accomplished 100% of everything I wanted to do on this adventure!! That does not happen very often. Sometime I would like to do a trip with the primary objective to land on gravel bars and go fishing. A slower trip with more camping and fishing, and less flying. That will be another epic adventure for the future.


    I was often pushed by the weather. I had to leave Kotzabue, Barrow, and Inuvik sooner than I wanted to keep from getting trapped by the weather for several days. As a result I finished the trip ahead of schedule. Yes, I had some low weather, and I had to run low a couple of times but it did not stop me or slow me down. I had built in weather days but ended up not using them. Got lucky.... I prefer to say I was Blessed! And I AM THANKFUL for His Blessings.


    It was spectacular, and incredible in so many ways, but in hindsight I would also say it was VERY high risk. Much more so than I expected. There were many many miles where an engine failure would have almost certainly resulted in a fatality. So.....it is unlikely I will do this trip again. Glad I did, but now that I know what is out there, probably not.


    The ground logistics were the most challenging. Finding a place to tie down and getting the airplane put to bed.
    Finding a hotel and a way to get there - - just take LOTS of cash or have a high limit on your CC and take a deep breath
    North of the Arctic circle fuel was 10 plus dollars a gallon, with a high of close to 12 dollars a gallon






    I flew over 7000 miles
    The trip covered 16 days, I flew on 14 of those days.
    I averaged 500 miles on the days I flew.
    I had two days where I flew over 1000 miles in one day (ouch)
    I flew 86.1 hours, averages to 81.3 MPH (includes taxi time)













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    Nothing like a cup of hot tea, and a little quiet time to offer Thanks and Praise










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    Just another gravel bar. I did a little fishing here...







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    I stopped in to The Scoop lake lodge in the trench to meet owners (and very nice folks), Darwin and Wendy







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    Safely back home. The end of an EPIC adventure. I was met by several good friends. Mike Woodson, Mike and Suzie Scalara, Cary Gray, and Mark Fiedler were there to greet me on shutdown. How cool is that? Thank you guys, it means a lot to me.


    Tons of things to do, including a couple of trips for SWA, (the company that makes all this possible), before heading North again, on floats, and back into the SE and Forest Service Cabins.



    I do have some video and if I have a chance I will do a little video of the trip.



    Hopefully you will be getting more trip reports in July, August, and September. Thank you for having an interest in following, for your support, your friendship, and your kindness.


    May the Lord Bless you as for He has certainly Blessed me




    Bill



    Now we will start over with a new set of trip reports for my time on floats in July, August, and September.



    Folks Trip Report #1


    I am back in Alaska. I was planning to leave on the 7th but the weather was going to be a problem so I had to back things up. It made for a rush. I finished work and got about 3 hours sleep then up at 0300 to jumpseat to Spokane. I flew across the Cascades that evening (the 4th) to beat the weather there. Then after a night trying to sleep to fireworks, I made the run up the coast. Non-stop again the year to avoid having to clear customs twice. Flight time to the cabin was a little over 6 hours.
    Ouch but worth it. The area around Vancouver was a little low and sloppy but after that it was pretty much as forecast. That "windty" wx site is just amazingly accurate. Near Prince Rupert it said I would pick up a headwind and I did. It also said the winds at 4 to 6K would be a X/W and it was spot on. So I climbed up and managed to avoid a headwind. When I got to Ketchikan this morning and refueled it took 51.6 gallons. That means I had roughly 14 gallons or close to 2 more hours of fuel. Pretty darn cool.
    My good friend Dave Childs is supposed to get in to Ketchikan and join me for a few days. He is a SWA pilot that I flew with many years ago and we became friends. He owns a Supercub as well so it will be fun to watch him adjust to floats in Alaska. Weather looks good for the next few days.


    More when I can


    Thanks for following


    Bill










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    After getting to the Humpback cabin it was time to relax. A good book and a cup of tea on a cabin in Alaska. It does not get much better than that.







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    Selfie









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    This is the water level at this same lake last year. Shed under water. Airplane back in the bushes







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    Same lake this year. I tried to get the same angle. Lots of rocks in the parking area. Not so good. Fortunately the winds were light







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    Scenery from the cabin. Note the rocks behind the floats.










    Folks Trip Report #2



    We have had good weather so far and I think Dave is having a great time. He certainly flies the cub like and old pro. His water landings are better than mine (darn it). We have visited Ketchikan with all the jewelry shops, none that we visited. Sorry Pat (Daves wife). Then we managed to get through the Misty Fiords tour which was spectacular as always, then into the McDonald Lake Cabin. Jay, we found that abandoned camp again this year. It is partly still there. They took down one of the tents and it looks like they burned the remains. Next day off to Juneau, quick tour of downtown, then to the Turner Lake West Cabin. Marvin the Mouse lives.....we know because we nailed him again last night. I'm sure he will be back tonight....he is immortal.



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    Dave at the Turner Lake West cabin. He got skunked. I managed to get a few fish but nothing to write home about, yet here I am doing just that.






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    McDonald Lake Cabin





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    Hero shot. After this one I asked him to "give me that pouty look" and we both were laughing so hard we could not get any more pictures.








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    Waterfall on Turner Lake







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    In Juneau we had to go to the Red Dog Saloon.







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    We went up the Tracy Arm and got to see the Sawyer Glacier Calving. All the white is from the displaced water. Spectacular!!!
    Dave got some great video. Stand by for the video version.




    I have had a blast so far and count my Blessings.


    God Bless


    Bill


    What an adventure!! Bill is sharing the Gods's splendor at each and every turn. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking.
    The flying has been nothing less than phenomenal, the fishing, well maybe tomorrow. At least Bill proved that there were fish in Alaska.


    We have seen no less than twelve whales the last two days! The emerald color iridescent fins (Bill says it is algae) stand out from the air and is absolutely a sight to be seen. Dave





    Folks Trip Report #3

    Dave is on his way home to Oklahoma. We had a great time, of course its tough not to up here. No rain the entire time he was here. Pretty unusual but not totally uncommon.
    I first met Dave at SWA when we flew together when Dave was a new First Officer, about 22 years ago. We found we had a common love Christ and general aviation, and especially Cubs. We have remained friends and Dave has owned several Cubs since then and now has a Cub Crafters Top Cub.
    We did not get in as much fishing as we probably could have but we did manage to cover a lot of the SE and saw a lot of glaciers and scenery. We hit all the major towns except Wrangel. Whew.





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    Never step off the floats without a rope in your hand. If the airplane gets away from you it is almost impossible to swim fast enough to catch it. You don't swim nearly as fast as you think. Dave is a quick learner and here he was caught with rope in hand just as it should be.









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    OK....we gotta work on the fishing a little ......here is Dave is getting appetizers for dinner......LOL










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    Like I said....he is a quick study..........









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    Sometimes it does not matter if you catch fish or not........it is just fun spending time with good friends in an incredibly beautiful place.......











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    The cabin is just above the tail. A floatplane takes you where no one else can go, into the most beautiful places the Lord created.








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    Two good friends. Thank you Lord.




    We went to Skagway yesterday, and found out we could not get fuel, in spite of what the AFD on Foreflight, and the AOPA guide says. I "know" I got fuel there a couple of years ago. ????? So....that gave us an excuse to go see George Campbell in Haines. We dropped into a pretty tight lake nearby and he gave us the tour of his house, new runway, hangar under construction, and also 15 gallons of fuel. Enough to make it to Juneau. Unfortunately as we started up and set off, the water rudders locked up and I had no steering. George did not hesitate to jump in the water and kept the Cub from hitting a tree. But that is just the way George is. He will do anything to help anyone, even a stranger. He is a good man and a friend to all, even me. Cleared some weeds and we were off. THANK YOU George. See you soon my friend.


    I will try to knock out a little video soon.........


    Here is the video of Dave Childs visit. I hope you enjoy it.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3m4HvMWn1NQ





    Thank you Dave for coming up to Alaska and spending some time with me. I had a great time. Hope you did too.


    Thanks for following folks.


    God Bless you all


    Bill




    Last edited by Bill Rusk; 04-19-2020 at 05:40 PM.
    Very Blessed.
    Likes stknrddr liked this post

  5. #5
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Folks Trip Report #5 (#4 was the video of Daves trip which I incorporated into Trip Report #3)

    I managed to get Dave on a flight back home early Saturday morning and then Greg Campbell came in Saturday evening. In between I worked on that little video I hope you watched listed in trip report #3. Greg is also from Oklahoma and is in the same circle of friends with Dave. Part of what I call my Oklahoma family. Greg works as an operations agent for SWA at the OK City airport. He recently completed building a Supercub and is a private pilot. Like Dave this was his first experience in a floatplane and also in Alaska. It has been fun to see the amazement in their voice and eyes as they take in this incredible place. I stuffed Greg in the front seat right off the bat ( no mercy) in an airplane he has never been in, a floatplane he has not done, at a strange and BUSY airport, and he did great. Although from his perspective I'm sure it was all A********s and elbows. LOL. I promise I did not laugh.......to much......






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    Greg in the front seat....where he has been every flight so far...... he looks pretty good hey?!









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    First night was at the Petersburg Lake cabin. A nice one. I have not been here 2016 and I'd forgotten how good it was. But we did not catch any fish.




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    Next day we did a little sight seeing enroute to the Swan lake Cabin. We saw a group of probably 25 or thirty whales. I have never seen that many at one time. It was just incredible. Everywhere you looked there was a whale breeching. Then we saw to separate bears. One, we circled back to take a closer look and I can now assure you that that old saying/question......"does a bear go poop in the woods"....is true. I will forever have that image burned in my mind. LOL
    I've seen a lot but that was a new one....gross......no I did not get a picture of that.....what kind of a savage do you think I am?..........








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    Swan Lake is beautiful as always. Nothing like a fire, looking at a glacier, and waterfalls, with the Cub parked in front. Life is good indeed!!






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    I've never had much luck fishing at Swan....sometimes getting completely skunked. Just ask Jay DeRosier. But Greg prayed that we would catch fish and we did quite well. A total of 12 to 15 each. Here is Greg with a nice rainbow.






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    Rainbow for dinner too.........






    We got rained in at Swan lake this morning and had to wait out the weather a bit. Currently in Petersburg for the shower and resupply. No Papa Bears Pizza (closed on Mondays). So we had fresh Hallibut instead. It 's a tough life but someone has to do it. Now we are off to the Turner Lake cabin to see Marvin the mouse again. He is immortal you know?


    I have been overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of this amazing country. Pictures do not come close to what fills your heart and eyes in this place. I still can't believe the blessing of being here, thank you for the Gift of this place Bill. It would have been fun to ride through Alaska with Bill, But I can't hardly type this with out my heart coming through my chest at the Heart Pounding Happiness of Landing Float Planes in Alaska with Instruction of such a great Christian Friend. Feeling Very Very Blessed. Thank You Bill.




    God Bless and thanks for following.


    Bill and Greg






    Folks Trip Report #6




    Things went well....... but not quite as planned. Had a great time with Greg but we got a leak in the right float and had to seal that seam. It takes 24 hours for the sealant to dry and then the weather is supposed to be really bad on Thursday so it seemed prudent to have Greg go home a little earlier than planned. We could have just hung around Juneau all day today then gone out late this evening but I needed to get him back to catch his flight out tomorrow and we were afraid we might not be able to get back into Juneau. We still got in 4 days and three cabins, including the two best, so I think he had a good time even though it was shorter than planned. Dave Childs hogged all the good weather, so Greg and I got the typical SE Alaska weather. Low clouds and rain with mist and reduced visibility. Greg has seen the real SE, whereas poor Dave has seen Disneyland Alaska.....LOL Perhaps next time they can do a role reversal, or at least a weather swap.




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    Greg managed to get in about 7 hours in the front seat. I think he likes it up there...







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    A cabin in Alaska with a floatplane, on a crystal clear lake with snow capped mountains and glaciers in the background. We are Blessed indeed.







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    Nothing like good friends.









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    Turner Lake West Cabin with a dock. Living large.......ahhhh the luxury! Don't have to wear waders or get my feet wet.







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    Greg heading home with a smile on his face. I counseled him on the "post vacation depression" symptoms and the cure. To come back of course.




    Here is Greg's video......I hope you enjoy it....


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHd7hmNgvRM



    I will remain here a few more days solo, before heading back to the lower 48 to work for a couple of weeks. If all goes according to plan I will be back in August.




    Thanks for following, and..... as always....God Bless


    Bill







    Folks Trip Report #7


    This will be the last trip report of the second block of Alaska time this summer. I am home to work for a couple of weeks then will return to Alaska on Aug 7th to resume flying and having fun until about Aug 27th. Then (Lord willing) there will be a September block as well.
    After Greg went home I stayed in Juneau for the day to let the sealant dry on the float that was leaking. It seems to have worked well. No more leak.


    The next day I headed off to a new cabin called the Kegan Creek Cabin down south on Prince of Wales Island. This cabin is on a fairly short lake, about 3000' long and it has 200' trees on either end. It was a piece of cake getting in, but it sure looked short getting out. An interesting cabin with a short 1 mile hike to another cabin on salt water. Glad I went but not sure I will rush back. Then I went to Turner West Cabin after a night in Petersburg to wait out pretty low weather. From there the Cub got put in the hangar in Juneau, cleaned up a little, oil change, a little TLC, and put to bed for a couple of weeks until my August adventure starts.




    Fights On, Fights on!


    After getting to the Turner cabin I decided to check, once again, to see if the salmon are running. It has been a late year. They would normally be running by now. I hiked about 3/4 mile to the Taku inlet, where the outflow stream from the lake hits the ocean. Singing and praying up a storm to warn any 4 footed predators that I was coming. A startled bear is not a happy bear.


    Once down to the inlet I cast my lure into the stream and was almost immediately hooked on a pretty good sized fish. The little guys don’t pull the line off against my drag. As I worked him towards shore I got a nice look. Yep, salmon for dinner tonight. What the heck? There is a BIG 5 foot long shadow after my fish....... Can you say Adrenalin RUSH? ....... Holy Buckets.…..its a sea lion.


    Fights on Fights on. It's a two circle fight…..sea lion against fish….MY FISH….. no,….. the fish reverses into a one circle fight. At this point I am providing high cover for my fish…..”Break left he is closing at your 4 o’clock…..go to shallow water”…..whew the fish makes it to shallow water and the sea lion does a 180….but he is still hawking the fight about 15 feet out. I’m back to fighting my fish. You know…..its all about dinner….The fish went for the lure just trying to get dinner, I caught the fish looking for dinner, and the sea lion was just looking at dinner as well.
    About this time my fish goes full after burner and heads to deep water. “Nooooooo…….break right….sea lion at your 10 o’clock”, I jerk a little on the line and manage to get the fish back to shallow water where the sea lion won’t go. This is off the charts weird. Shades of Hemingway….The Old Man and the Sea……Back to trying to land dinner…..but the fish has other ideas. Full after burner again and my drag is singing like Ella Fitzgerald. Fish managed to get on the back side of a rock and the line broke. Wow…..what an event. It was a little spooky having a 5 foot long shadow just a couple of feet away when standing in the water. Lost the fish but that is a battle I will long remember.


    So……after catching my breath a little I went back to fishing. Waded back in to the same spot but now the water seems to be over my knees. What the heck? I’m pretty sure I’m in the same spot. Then the light came on. Could the tide be coming in. I looked at the big rock and marked a line in my mind. There was a smaller rock just above the water a few feet away. After a couple of casts the smaller rock was under water. Sure enough…tides coming in. I fished about an hour. Saw the water level rise by an easy 4 feet and still rising when I left. Caughtt another salmon but did not land him either….but at least it was a 1 V 1 fight rather than a 2 V 1. LOL Interesting day to be fishing.








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    Neat dock at the Kegan Creek cabin. One of the few times I've had to dock on the left and scoot across the wire to the left float to grab the dock. It really does not happen all that often. Then I spun the plan to set up for departure and to unload.












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    The cabin is about 200 yards from the dock so you have to schlep your gear a ways up the trail. The cabin sits on a little pond. Kinda neat, but the cabin itself was a little rough and in need of maintenance.












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    Going into Petersburg the next day the weather was a little low. There is a runway under the clouds. But the deal breaker was fog. I stayed in a hotel in Petersburg. This is a vacation after all.










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    Wandered around Petersburg a little. Now THAT is what I call a hangar. The left hangar houses a Beaver. The one on the right has a Glastar in it with about 1" of wingtip clearance on each side. You gotta be right on the rails going in. Nice set of Aerocet floats.












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    My hangar at Sandpoint is coming along, and my checkbook balance is getting smaller.










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    July was quite the adventure. Got to see a massive glacier calving, a huge pod of whales, and fight a sea lion for dinner.

    I had a great time with both Greg and David and I'm glad they were able to come up and spend some time with me.


    Thanks for following


    Hope you enjoy the updates


    Bill








    Last edited by Bill Rusk; 04-19-2020 at 08:08 PM.
    Very Blessed.

  6. #6
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Folks Trip Report #8


    Just a quick update, Mark Fiedler is supposed to arrive in just a few moments and we are going to spend a few days together.




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    Man it is so good to be back home. I am Blessed.





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    I stayed in a new cabin, this is the Sitkoh cabin on Chicka gooff island (sp)





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    Sunrise





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    I tried to go to Sitka. The entire south east was clear and a million, not a cloud in sight, until I got over the mountains on Baranof island. And once again Sitka it’s socked in with low clouds and low visibility. Like a rose, it is truly a beautiful place, but it has thorns






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    Stopped in to check out this cabin on Solioa Lake





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    This is the town of Pelican. Bucolic.



    Trying to do this update on my cell phone so I’m not sure how well it’s going to work out, or how the size of the photos will work out. Trying something new. Thanks for following y’all.


    Folks....the cell phone update did not work out....I corrected things here for this post








    Folks Trip Report #9




    Mark made it in on schedule and we have had great weather. Been doing lots of fishing. Had fish for dinner every night so far. Except today at Papa Bears Pizza in Petersburg. Heading into Misty Fiords tonight. Having a great time.






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    We went up to Skagway and had to eat at the Red Onion Saloon. Good times....




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    Got a chance to see some whales. Note the iridescent fin color




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    Moonlight at its lake Cabin. Mark took this photo. I'm not that good.






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    Fly fishing for salmon. This is a pink, sometimes called a "Humpy" for obvious reasons




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    Scenery near Antler Creek, north of Juneau




    Thanks for following.


    Ok, Wow! Got picked up in Juneau and were off......Lots of fishing, a major hike down stream at Young Lake to the lower cabin (maybe 4.5 miles each way) fish catching at every turn. Not to mention 3 Bear sighting to date (one was just across the river from us with ears up as we were spotted). Off to Jim's lake for the night. The highlight for me was Multiple whale spotted today.


    Got Pizza at Papa Bear, and were off to Misty Fiords!! Somewhere for the night tonight to fish!! Yaa Hoo!!




    This has been an amazing action packed couple of days so far. Mr. Rusk does not seem to sit still for long!!??





    Bill and Mark







    Folks Trip Report #10

    Mark and I had great weather and a great time. We definitely stayed busy. Mark is a dedicated fisherman and far more avid and accomplished than I am. We spent a lot of time fishing. Several times on lakes not associated with a cabin, which meant we moved around a lot. I'm tired just thinking about what we did.
    I got Mark into Sitka yesterday where he will be a working stiff on a boat back to Seattle. Great opportunity to see the inside passage both from an airplane and also from a boat.
    Mark sold his Cub and will be building a Javron Cub. So my next visitor, whom I picked up in Juneau last night, is Jay DeRosier who will be making the Cub kit Mark will build. Jay says if Mark wants any help building his Cub he will have to leave some good weather next time. Mark and I had great weather and it is raining now (for Jays visit) so apparently Mark used all the good weather and did not leave any for Jay. LOL
    It was a great opportunity for Mark to fly the airplane he will build and figure out what he wants to do different on his.


    Jay and I will be doing things a little different on this trip. We will head up the coast past Yukatat, and stay in a cabin near Cordova tonight. Tomorrow we will cross Prince William Sound, visit Homer, then go to Kodiak Island. We will stay and explore Kodiak for a few days and return to the SE part of Alaska around the 23erd. We have never been to Kodiak so I am looking forward to seeing a new part of Alaska.








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    Caught my first Arctic Grayling at Antler lake. Thanks to George Campbell for the tip.







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    Just some awesome scenery







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    Mark pointing to the airplane in the background. We hiked in to fish the falls. Work, work, work....this job is a pressure cooker......oh yeah....I'm on vacation.







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    This is the Turner East cabin. Lots of great scenery here. Fishing was so so






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    The weather was low going into Juneau so Mark did get to see some low weather.




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    I'm not sure how to caption this one.....either he is so dedicated to fly fishing he keeps a spare in his teeth or....
    We need to work on his casting skills...LOL


    The Cub is doing great, and I'm Blessed to have the opportunity to see and do this. I'm also very Blessed to have great friends to share my Blessings with.


    Here is the video of Marks Trip
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-Jg39571-M



    Thanks for following.


    God Bless you


    Bill


















    Last edited by Bill Rusk; 04-19-2020 at 07:06 PM.
    Very Blessed.

  7. #7
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Sandpoint, Idaho and Poplar Grove, (Chicago) IL
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    Folks Trip Report #11

    So my next visitor, whom I picked up in Juneau last night, is Jay DeRosier who will be making the Cub kit Mark will build. Jay says if Mark wants any help building his Cub he will have to leave some good weather next time. Mark and I had great weather and it is raining now (for Jays visit) so apparently Mark used all the good weather and did not leave any for Jay. LOL
    It was a great opportunity for Mark to fly the airplane he will build and figure out what he wants to do different on his.


    Jay and I will be doing things a little different on this trip. We will head up the coast past Yukatat, and stay in a cabin near Cordova tonight. Tomorrow we will cross Prince William Sound, visit Homer, then go to Kodiak Island. We will stay and explore Kodiak for a few days and return to the SE part of Alaska around the 23erd. We have never been to Kodiak so I am looking forward to seeing a new part of Alaska.


    Real quick update. We made it to Kodiak but we are leaving early due to winds again. Going to try to get all the way back into the SE today. Winds are supposed to get bad tomorrow so we want to get in and get hunkered down. Kodiak island was cool. Very pretty and mountainous but we did not see any bears, even though we stayed at the premier bear viewing cabin. Course the fact that it was raining and windy could have been a factor.




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    We stayed at the Situk cabin near Yukatat two nights due to high winds. The landing and taxi in were the most challenging I have been in so far. Whew....the Lord takes care of children and fools. I sometimes think I fit both categories. We did get to catch fish while we were there.







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    It is a nice cabin. We stayed here four years ago. This was my first Forest Service cabin. Kinda like coming home.






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    When they are all red like this the meat is not so good. They are at the last phase of their life. Still fun to catch and release.







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    I did manage to get a trout so we had a great dinner











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    Scenery from the Sitka cabin









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    Flying over the Harding Icefield enroute to Homer Alaska. Pretty darn cool.


    Gotta get back in the Cub and head over Prince William Sound. Going to be a long day of flying.


    From the FBO in Homer.


    God Bless you all


    Bill and Jay





    Folks (Jays notes are in blue) Trip Report #13 (#12 was Marks video incorporated above)


    Jay and I made it safely back to Juneau, again in pretty low weather. Unfortunately this entire week was dictated by weather. We started out Saturday morning headed to Kodiak. After we got to Yukatat, the first fuel stop, the fueler there told us aircraft were having a lot of trouble with the wind (which we had already discovered via severe turbulence enroute to Yukatat) and we decided to go to a cabin there and wait it out. So we spent two unplanned nights in the Situk cabin. It was still fun and we fished in gale force winds anyway. Caught some great fish as you have seen in the previous trip report. On Monday we made it to Kodiak in the rain and smoke around Homer. After a night in the Laura lake cabin we moved to the south end of Kodiak to the Frazier lake cabin. This is supposed to be the best cabin for bear viewing. We saw none, as in..... zip .....zero....... nada .....no bears.


    I am starting to think that the state of Alaska has only three of four bears that they share for photo shoots and they pass them around so tourists can take a picture of them if they just happen to be in the town where they are on loan. Apparently they were in Anchorage or Wasilla this week.


    Attachment 48332
    Weather was windy and rainy for the time we were on Kodiak. Might have kept the bears hunkered down. Lots of fish so plenty of food for them.


    I think all the bears were at home with full bellies of fish and didn't want to risk indigestion from two old tough to chew and stringy tourists.













    Attachment 48333
    The cabin on Kodiak at Frazier Lake. Kodiak is much more barren (lacks trees) than the SE in general.



    There are no trees on Kodiak island, or bears.






    Attachment 48334
    Inside the Frazier cabin. Quite nice.



    I thought I heard a bear outside the cabin in the middle of the night but Bill wouldn't go and check.





    Attachment 48335
    The weather that kept us for two nights in the Kook Lake Cabin on Chichagof Island.


    We got to fish and even take a nap in the middle of the day, this place is great!








    Attachment 48336
    We managed to sneak into Petersburg yesterday to resupply and make a new plan. After checking the weather again we decided to just stay put. So we stayed at the hotel in Petersburg and hung around most of today letting the weather improve enough to make the run to Juneau and the end of our trip.


    This is my carnivore meat pizza chewing face.






    Attachment 48337
    My magic carpet all secure and put to bed at the hangar in Juneau until my September block. Lord willing, I should be back Sept 2nd to meet up with Tom Anderson and spend a little more time running around in the best part of Gods creation.


    I am very grateful for my friendship with Bill. He has taken the kit we make and assembled it into something to be very proud of. He and his aircraft have taken many people on some once in a lifetime trips to see the breathtaking wonders of God's creations. We have seen places and things most people on earth will never see. It takes people like Bill to help others realize that they can do this too. So get out there and use your magic carpet to see and do things that may be out of your comfort zone, and take someone else with you, they my never get another chance. Life is not measured by how many breathes you take but by how many times life takes your breath away, not my quote but true anyway. Thanks Bill, Jay




    In spite of the weather, Jay and I had a great time, had great fish dinners, explored some new territory, and deepened our friendship.


    Here is the DeRosier video

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vR3DWpToq0


    Thanks for following


    Bill and Jay









    Last edited by Bill Rusk; 04-19-2020 at 08:27 PM.
    Very Blessed.

  8. #8
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Folks Trip Report #15 (#14 was DeRosier video link incorporated above)

    Tom and I got into Juneau on the same flight. Went to the grocery store, sporting goods store and got a bite to eat before heading out. The weather was pretty bad when we got to Juneau and worse when we left, so I took the front seat and flew us to the Young Lake North cabin. It is a ice cabin close to Juneau and a pretty low entry cabin. We made it in OK. It was the end of a pretty long travel day for both of us, so a close easy cabin was the smart (safe) choice. I have not caught much fish here, except by hiking to the bay, 5 miles each way. Tom and I were not up for that but the next morning we took the boat to the other end of the lake to see if we could find some fish.




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    The weather going into Young Lake was a little iffy







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    We hit the motherlode. The silvers are running and we each caught several. I think Tom caught more than I did and we measured one at 28". All were over 24. Unfortunately we were using tackle more suited to trout (I absolutely did NOT expect to get salmon here) and so we had several line breaks, even doing our best to be gentle.




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    I must admit it was fun. We did not keep any of these as we had other plans.




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    The next day Tom flew us into Baranof Lake, again in some pretty iffy weather. Tom landed several Cutthroat fish and we had a nice fish dinner. The weather cleared out nicely and we enjoyed some great scenery







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    And a pleasant evening by the fire. Man.....it just does not get much better than this. We are Blessed indeed.




    Today we flew to Petersburg, again in some weather. Shortly after we landed we heard Alaska power up and go missed approach. Hopefully it will clear out by the time we get showered, laundered, fed and buy some more fishing gear. The plan from here is to spend the next two nights at the Turner Lake West Cabin, where we might get a few more Silvers and even have a salmon dinner.


    What Bill didn't mention is I found a lure in his tackle box that is most delicious for both Salmon and Trout. So what you see is the biggest Salmon I've ever caught. I believe Baranof lake on Baranof Island is a spectacular place on this earth. The water is very clear and the surrounding hills and trees are epoch in scope and size. And, what he is not allowed to show is my short skinny dip in a VERY cold baranof lake - a truly bracing experience - and one not very pretty picture! The flight this morning from Baranof to Peterspurg was smooth, beautiful, calm, and we spotted lots of whales in Stevens straight. The Mitkof island (Petersburg) still had low lying fog and clouds. We did our best to find a bear on every stream outlet, but other than several eagles we've been skunked.



    Thanks for following.



    God Bless


    Bill and Tom





    Folks (Trip Report #16)


    I am back in the lower 48, but stuck in the Seattle area for weather so as I await better weather I will do a couple of trip reports.
    This one and the one to follow will be the last for this year. I'm sure there will be a big sigh of relief in the universe, no more junk mail from Bill. But you still have to suffer through this one and one more.


    Tom and I had a mix of weather. Some good and some "usual SE Alaska" wx. But we still managed to have an outside fire several evenings. That was, as always, very nice.




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    We flew over the top from Petersburg to the Dawes Glacier, then into the Endicott Arm. It was really spectacular picking around through the mountains and the clouds. In this picture you can see the hole we flew through, and the Dawes glacier in the background.







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    Where the Dawes glacier ends. We did not see it calve. Bummer.







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    You have probably all seen this location before. We spent two nights in the Turner Lake West Cabin. Always spectacular!!
    We got four mice the first night and three the next. One of the few cabins with mice, and Myron the mouse just seems to always come back the next night.







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    Yes, I am a danger to myself whether with a fillet knife, ax, or even a cigarette lighter (inside family joke). Actually, this was not bad, I just bandaged it up so it looks worse than it was. We had a nice fire in the fireplace and had loaded baked potatoes for dinner. Most excellent.







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    Jay and I did not see a single bear. Tom and I saw a total of 9. There were four here, all fishing. They were so interested in fishing they did not run off when we flew over. I saw the fish splash making a run to go upstream and then saw one of the cubs chasing after them. Not sure if he got dinner or not, but it was cool to see.



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    A stunning picture by Tom. Did not make the calendar. Tough competition for that calendar.







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    A great shot of the Juneau airport with the Mendenhall glacier in the background. You can see the float pond in the foreground.


    There is a BIG difference in the quality of the pictures from Toms iPhone 10 and my iPhone 6. The camera is clearly better.


    Link to the video of Tom's visit

    https://youtu.be/bUvs-U5ng_4


    Bill





    Last edited by Bill Rusk; 04-19-2020 at 09:56 PM.
    Very Blessed.
    Thanks Utah 12 Driver, 39-J3 thanked for this post
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